Terminator: Dark Fate: Director Tim Miller gets brutally honest about the film’s failure at the box office

Last Updated on November 20, 2023

Terminator: Dark Fate, Tim Miller, box office failure

Terminator: Dark Fate was supposed to be a return to form for the Terminator franchise. Linda Hamilton returned as Sarah Conner, Arnold Schwarzenegger was brought back as the character that has been his signature for years, and franchise creator James Cameron was back on board as a producer and a co-writer of the film’s story treatment. Fresh faces were also added to the cast to move the franchise into a more fresh direction while respecting its roots, but the idea turned out to be far better than the overall execution. I think Terminator: Dark Fate is a perfectly fine Terminator sequel, but most moviegoers dismissed the film, grossing $62.2 million domestically and $261.1 million worldwide on a staggering $185 million budget. The film netted a reported loss of $122.6 million, and now director Tim Miller is reflecting with brutal honesty about Dark Fate’s failure.

While appearing at Collider’s Directors on Directing Hall H San Diego Comic-Con panel, via Deadline, Miller was pretty candid regarding his feelings about Terminator: Dark Fate. He explains that he approached the movie as a fan of the franchise, and even though he thought he was making a “good movie,” he was saddened by the response to the film:

“I went in with the rock hard nerd belief that if I made a good movie that I wanted to see, it would do well. And I was wrong. It was one of those f**king Eureka moments in a bad way because the movie tanked.”

The interesting thing is that Terminator: Dark Fate is the best-reviewed sequel of the franchise behind Terminator 2: Judgment Day (70% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), and the audience score isn’t all that bad at 82%. I think one of the problems was that the film didn’t register beyond fans of the franchise, and there were also certain things in the film that rubbed those fans the wrong way. The death of John Connor (Edward Furlong) at the start of the movie left an instant bad taste in some fans’ mouths, and it was hard to recover their goodwill after that.

Tim Miller wasn’t all down on his luck about his Terminator experience. He half-jokingly says a lower-cost Terminator film could work, and he’s not entirely wrong about that assertion:

“I think if you make a lower-cost Terminator movie,  a good director and movie star could make it great. It could be made with sock puppets, and it could be awesome.”

Why do YOU think Terminator: Dark Fate failed at the box office, as Tim Miller thinks it did? Do YOU think it deserves a revisit?

Source: Deadline

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